Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September 18th, 2008

I-35W Memorial Bridge

Oh yes, it’s done.

To much fanfare and tribute, officials conducted a pre-dawn crossing of the bridge (both in the north bound and south bound lanes) for the first time today, Sept. 18, 2008.  That’s just 13 months and 17 days after the old bridge collapsed. An amazing feat.

I, personally, don’t use the 35W bridge frequently. Once, maybe twice a year. It’s still good to know that people can come together and get something done – quickly – for the good of everyone involved and in tribute to those who lost their lives in a purely avoidable tragedy.

-end-

Read Full Post »

Alaska Rally

This photo of a large anti-Palin rally recently held in Alaska required posting.

-end-

Read Full Post »

The Sarah Palin Experience

Just for those of you curious about Ms. Palin’s education and experience:

  • In 1982, Palin enrolled at Hawaii Pacific College. She left after one semester and transferred in 1983 to North Idaho College.
  • Palin transferred from NIC to the University of Idaho.
  • She also attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska for one term. It was during this time that Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant and finished as second runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant where she won a college scholarship and the “Miss Congeniality” award.
  • She returned to the University of Idaho where she completed her bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism in 1987

After graduation, in 1988, she worked as a sports reporter for KTUU-TV in Anchorage. She also served as a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

At age 28 (1992) she won a seat as a council woman on the Wasilla city council and served until 1996.

In 1996, she was elected as Mayor of Wasilla (a city of 6,300 at the conclusion of her second term as mayor). Upon taking office, Palin eliminated the position of museum director and asked for updated resumes and resignation letters from top officials, including the police chief, public works director, finance director and librarian. She also hired a paid city administrator and reduced her own salary from $68,000 to $64,000.

During her second term as mayor, she was successful in increasing taxes to fund a city sports complex, spent $5.5 million for street projects, and $3 million for water improvement projects — and grew the city’s long-term debt from an approximate $1 million to about $25 million. Term limits prevented Palin from running for a third term as mayor in 2002.

In 2002 she ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Alaska and lost. She was appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission where she served as chair beginning in 2003. Palin resigned in January 2004, protesting what she called the “lack of ethics” of fellow Republican members on the Commission.

In 2006, Palin ran against and defeated incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Her running mate was State Senator Sean Parnell. She won the Governor’s seat in November, defeating former governor Tony Knowles 48.3% to 40.9%. Palin became Alaska’s first female governor at age 42 — the youngest governor in Alaskan history.

As Governor, Palin:

  • Pushed for and signed into law a bipartisan ethics reform bill, calling it a “first step” in cleaning up Alaska politics
  • Promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska
  • Put forward an Alaska Gasline Inducement Act to encourage building a natural gas pipeline from the state’s North Slope
  • Signed a bill awarding TransCanada Pipelines $500 million in seed money and a license to build and operate a $26 billion pipeline to transport gas from the North Slope to the Lower 48 states
  • Traveled, for the first time outside of North America, to Kuwait where she visited the Khabari Alawazem Crossing at the Kuwait-Iraq border and met with members of the Alaska National Guard
  • Pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and blurred the line between government and personal grievance
  • Signed a $6.6 billion operating budget into law while at the same time, reduced the construction budget by $237 million (representing 300 local projects)
  • Followed through on a campaign promise to sell a jet purchased by the previous administration for $2.7 million in 2005 against the wishes of the legislature. In August 2007, the jet was listed on eBay, but the sale fell through, and the plane was later sold for $2.1 million through a private brokerage firm.
  • Dismissed the Public Safety Commissioner citing performance-related issues, such as not being “a team player on budgeting issues. The PSC said he had resisted pressure from the Governor, her husband, and her staff to fire Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, who was involved in a bitter child custody battle with Palin’s sister that included an alleged death threat against Palin’s father.
  • First supported and then criticized a proposed bridge connecting Ketchikan to Ketchikan International Airport and Gravina Island (population 50); and Knik Arm Bridge, a proposed bridge crossing Knik Arm to allow development of Anchorage. In 2006, she ran for governor on a “build-the-bridge” platform, attacking “spinmeisters” for insulting local residents by calling them “nowhere” and urging speed “while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” Eight months after becoming Governor and a month after the bridge received sharp criticism from John McCain, Palin directed Alaskan officials to look for fiscally responsible alternatives rather than expending state resources to build the bridge or using the transportation funds Congress gave Alaska in place of the original bridge earmark. Alaska will not return any of the $442 million to the federal government and is spending a portion of the funding, $25 million, on a Gravina Island road to the place where the bridge would have gone, expressly so that none of the money will have to be returned.

And that is the extent of Ms. Palin’s career to date.

-end-

Read Full Post »